Electronic documentation impedes emergency department efficiency

From AMA Wire:

A recently published study finds that one emergency department’s implementation of a custom electronic documentation system reduced patient throughput, and researchers call for new strategies to mitigate the efficiency effects of going paperless.

The study, published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, found that the use of a custom electronic documentation system resulted in small but consistent increases in overall and discharge length of stay (LOS) in the ED. The study found a 6.3-minute rise in LOS for patients treated and released and a 5.1-minute increase for discharged patients. There was no statistically significant change in time to disposition or LOS for admitted patients.

Even though the increase in LOS was small, it still played a significant role in a high-throughput ED. It was extrapolated to the entire department that an “additional six minutes per patient encounter would add more than 16 hours per day for an ED serving 165 patients per day.” As a result, these increases could lead to decreased patient satisfaction and delays in care for time-sensitive conditions, argued the study’s authors.

How Clinicians Can Prepare for Active Shooter Incidents

From Medscape:

Healthcare employers should provide workplace violence prevention education and should enact policies that empower employees to anonymously report behaviors that indicate that another employee may be on a path toward committing a violent act in the workplace. This may be provided as part of orientation or through annual mandatory training modules. If a physician’s employer does not provide this training, physicians should request it from department administrators, human resources, or security or hospital police departments. Physicians in private practice or small groups can review planning guides available online[6] and can work with local law enforcement or government offices of emergency management to provide preparedness and prevention education.

Mylan, U.S. finalize $465 million EpiPen settlement

From Reuters:

Mylan NV has finalized a $465 million settlement with the U.S. Justice Department resolving claims it overcharged the government for its EpiPen emergency allergy treatment, which became the center of a firestorm over price increases.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts revealed the accord on Thursday, 10 months after Mylan said it reached a deal resolving claims it misclassified the EpiPen as a generic rather than a branded product, underpaying rebates to the Medicaid program as a result.

Virtual Consultations With Doctors Speed Up Non-Emergency ER Visits At Area Hospital

From CBS Local New York:

Have you ever gone to the emergency room for a cut or a sprain, or maybe if you were running a fever? Chances are you waited a pretty long time to be seen and treated.

But as CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez reported, one hospital is now using telemedicine to make the ER visits faster and less stressful. And the doctor does not even have to be in the room.

How Emergency Services are Getting Ready for the Eclipse

From WLTX:

There is no doubt. The total solar eclipse is going to be a big event. People are coming from all over to see the spectacle.

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division said the Columbia area may see anywhere from 140,000 to half a million people and our state could see over one million visitors. Or even more.

That’s a lot of people and a lot of cars on the roads, so what’s the plan if there is an emergency?

The Department of Transportation, Department of Natural Resources, South Carolina Highway Patrol, HAM Radio and South Carolina Emergency Management Division will be on stand by with extra staff.


State-by-state breakdown of 80 rural hospital closures

From Becker’s:

Of the 26 states that have seen at least one rural hospital close since 2010, those with the most closures are located in the South, according to research from the North Carolina Rural Health Research Program.

Thirteen hospitals in Texas have closed since 2010, the most of any state. Tennessee has seen the second-most closures, with eight hospitals closing since 2010. In third place is Georgia with six closures, followed by Alabama and Mississippi, which have each seen five hospitals close over the past six years.

Eclipse 2017: Southern Illinois prepares for an influx of visitors

From the Pantagraph:

With just one week to go before the 2017 total solar eclipse, municipalities, businesses and organizations are all gearing up for additional traffic and people.

Southern Illinois Healthcare has increased staff at all locations and is preparing for parking. The public is asked to not to park in SIH clinic and hospital lots.

“We want to keep those spaces open for patients and ambulances,” said Rosslind Rice, communications coordinator for SIH.

All SIH locations have been participating in disaster drills over the past several months to prepare for the types of incidents that might occur.